Presented by Melissa Cranenburgh

Interview

Backstory: Pulling Threads Together With Larissa Behrendt

Larissa Behrendt’s latest novel After Story sees a mother, Della, and daughter, Jasmine, take a literary tour of England to visit the sites of Jasmine’s bookish childhood – that ultimately heals a rift between them. The Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman joins Mel to discuss how she pulled threads together between the world of the Brontë sisters and Jane Austen, complex family dynamics and the trauma experienced by families seeking justice for a loved one.

The author explains that current Indigenous authors like Tony Birch, Anita Heiss and Alexis Wright weren’t around and accessible when she was younger. So she read and learned from other authors. Larissa says that Brontë and Austen were from very different cultures but they spoke about “people who had greater hopes for themselves and what society would allow them to”. For Larissa, this novel is about putting the books she loved “side by side” with “the equally important amazing canon of storytelling in [her] own Indigenous culture.”

Photo: ABC

Larissa Behrendt
Listen to Backstory: Pulling Threads Together With Larissa Behrendt43:0714 July 2021